Main Page | See live article | Alphabetical index

Reflector telescope

A reflector telescope is a telescope, with which the substantial part of the optics consists of reflecting elements. Optical telescopes use highly exact polished concave mirrors as primary mirrors. The shape of the mirrors can be spherical, parabolic or hyperbolic. The surface must be worked on with an accuracy from 100 to 20nm. Mirror sizes to 8.6m were realized.

Nearly all large research-grade astronomical telescopes are reflectors. This is due to several reasons:

In radio telescopes metal surfaces, which collect the radio waves in the actual antenna, work as mirrors. These are used as parabolic reflectors. The largest single piece antenna is the Arecibo radio telescope in Puerto Rico.

According to their geometry one differentiates different kinds of reflector telescopes: